Winner Chicken Dinner"
Campbell (Sturgess) was on the verge of finishing college at M.I.T. and dreamed
of going to Harvard Medical but it would cost $300,000. His only chance was
a scholarship or so he thought, until a spot came up on Prof. Micky Rosa's
(Spacey) special group project. After inadvertently standing out in class
for the first time, the professor invites Ben to meet Jill (Bosworth), Choi
(Yoo), Kianna (Lapira) and Jimmy (Pitts) who are taking part in an extracurricular
project that could solve all of his money problems in one fell swoop. That
project is counting cards and working the system to make thousands of dollars
and Las Vegas is their target.
big in Los Vegas has been the story of many a Hollywood movie but can a true
story of mathematics beating the system be a winner?
on the best selling book "Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six
M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions" by Ben Mezrich, this is the true
story that reveals that even the most educated people in the world can still
succumb to greed. As with everything, mathematics can be used to understand
and therefore take advantage of any system in the world and when it comes
to beating the house in Vegas, six M.I.T. students and their professor took
the city of sin for millions. A story like this was bound to make Hollywood
take notice and for the most part, their gamble paid off.
story is seen from the point of view of Ben Campbell, a geek who only really
had three friends at M.I.T. with whom he spent most of his spare time building
a robot to win the yearly robotics competition. Keeping himself under the
radar until his final year, Ben had always shone academically but until he
argued a point in Prof. Micky Rosa's class, no one really knew he existed.
It was this uncharacteristic outburst and with a little bit of research that
brought Ben to the attention of the Professor and his five most gifted students
who had an astonishing proposition for him.
a mathematical technique that is never really clearly explained, a set of
signals and phrases that indicate if a table is hot or not and a system that
will keep them off the Vegas radar, Prof. Micky Rosa and his six students
head there to make a fortune. While this might not be the actual way they
did it in real life, the Hollywood version is one hell of a ride.
bring a story like this to the silver screen you need a good compliment of
young actors to play the six M.I.T. students. Leading the line is Jim Sturgess
as Ben Campbell, the newest member of the group and the man who is going to
change the most, becoming a new person every time he steps of the plane in
Vegas. This is a career-making role for the British, jobbing actor and he
stands out as a star in the making. Kate Bosworth continues to make interesting
career choices as Jill Taylor, proving again that she is an actress to watch
and one who loves working with Kevin Spacey. There are also good performances
from Aaron Yoo, Liza Lapira, Jacob Pitts as Choi, Kianna and Jimmy Fisher
as the rest of the team with each of them having fun in their roles. When
you add Lawrence Fishburne and Kevin Spacey into the mix as Vegas security
manager Cole Williams and as mastermind Prof. Micky Rosa, you have a certain
amount of class coming into the film.
it maybe a little too Hollywood at times, the movie still has plenty of twists
and turns and a whole lot of fun in the city of sin. With a good cast and
an interesting story, this is a movie that doesn't quite hit the jackpot but
it does produce a few winning elements for you to have a good time.
Blu-Ray disc presents the movie in High Definition wide screen 1:85 up to
1080p, with Dolby TrueHD 5.1 surround sound, highlighting the Las Vegas location
and the sound of the casinos in which the card counting goes down.
Director Robert Luketic and producers Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti provide
a fun and informative commentary for '21'. The group talk about the true elements
of the story, the writing of the script and Kevin Spacey's involvement and
enthusiasm for the project. This is an excellent commentary that fans of the
film will really enjoy.
(37.22 mins/High Definition)
Split into three parts entitled 'The Advantage Player', 'Basic Strategy: A
Complete Film Journal' and 'Money Talks: A Tour of the Good Life' with contributions
from director Robert Luketic, producers Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti,
author Ben Mezrich, original M.I.T. student Jeff Ma, screenwriter Peter Steinfeld,
production designer Missy Stewart, costume Luca Mosa, producer/star Kevin
Spacey and stars Jim Sturgess, Kate Bosworth, Aaron Yoo, Liza Lapira, Jacob
Pitts and Laurence Fishburne, these three featurettes cover the history of
Blackjack, how to play like a pro, explain the maths behind counting cards,
as well as writing the script, the characters and the story.
Practice in the classroom for heading to the casino table with this interactive
Blackjack game to play on your Blu-Ray player.
Log onto the Blu-Ray site to see they latest releases from Sony and what is
Blu-Ray treatment for '21' is one that fans should enjoy. The featurettes
cover most aspects for the film's production, the commentary track is also
very good and the inclusion of the Virtual Blackjack is a good touch. BD Live
still isn't really adding much to the extras features of the films, but the
potential is still massive.
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